Ah, how primitive our forefathers were! And how foolish they were to spend good money on such things. We, of course, know better these days.
That is, until Stamler got to Rebbetzin Aidel Miller, a master of the art of “lead pouring,” a relatively modern feat of Jewish magic that originated in the late 19th century and is also known by its original German name bleigiessen.
Miller is operating today, in 2015, not hundreds of years ago, charging a tidy sum ($101 per session – after the 101 shofar blasts some congregations blow on Rosh Hashana) for a procedure that involves heating lead until it melts, then pouring it into a bucket of cold water placed near the sufferer’s head, discerning the shapes of the bubbles and globules that result, and using her knowledge to subsequently remove ayin hara (the evil eye), bypass childbearing blocks, or improve success with shidduchim (finding a marriageable partner). Miller will come to your home or even do the procedure over the phone, apparently.
It wasn’t just the lead that was boiling now. I felt a burning sense of theological indignation.